Thursday, January 29, 2015

I have a virus

I can hear " the guys."
In Ubuntu?
In Linux?

No man.
In me.

First of all it was a normal pc virus that made you addicted to games. Now it has mutated into something even stronger.
Haven't had time for games for months.
First thing I do now in the morning after waking up is,
Turn on the pc. Check for mails. Open Pidgin. Open Xchat.
Then go do the normal ablutions.
Come back and read my mails
Then check for messages.
Hopefully "the guys" are helping someone sort out a problem.
And before too long that person is happy.
#ubuntu-za and are a fountain of information and help. Oh, don't forget

Apart from meals and normal bits of this and that the only time I am not busy watching them in action is when I am chatting to Debbie and my newly found daughter in Australia and my son in Rustenburg and my Brother in Dubai
Sometimes nearly all of them are on at once, then things get a bit hectic here.
Another new word. "for me anyway" -Multitasking- More work than running 10 k's used to be when I was young.
Wonderful thing this internet.
Still trying to work out how to use twitter properly.
And struggling to get a photo from picasa to here .
But will get there, I promise.
Keep well all of you.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I am a geek?

Hi there all. Glad you could find the time to visit.

This short story, can hopefully explain to those of us out there who think the same way I used to about Geeks. What is a geek? Hmmm
I didn't need to think very long when Ian asked me that question about six months ago when I said something about geeks. Not sure what brought the whole thing up anyhow. I said to him, It's some idiot that sits in front of a computer all day. Was I right or wrong. Beep, Wrong answer. He said Dad (always the respectful one he is) " now the thumper" You are a Geek. Ten years ago I would have clouted him.
'What do you do" he says. Had to think about that for a while. And you know what? He was right. What did I do? Now (six months later for those of you with bad short term memories) let me explain for the misinformed out there what I think a geek is. All opinions used will be my own. I have done no research on the matter so I can't blame anyone else. If you don't like what I say, sue me, the pc I use has my sisters name on it. But if you want the clothes of my back, you are welcome. Time I bummed some more from my brother anyway. Go for it.

Right now that's out of the way. This is my opinion.
Geeks are some of the most important people in the world today in this time of fast foods, fast cars, Idiot boxes (tv) and all the other wonderful things available to us. If you read the whole of this blog site then you would have gathered that I was an outdoors type of a person. Maybe even a Jock type ( whatever that means) Sure we never had all these funny words 30 years ago. Lets think about the word geek. Look it up if you like. I am too lazy to do that for you as well. When you are in the supermarket and their computers, tills etc. are offline Who do you think is the guy that fixes it so you don't spend all week in the queue. Right. It must be a geek. When you can't go online to msn, google, facebook or skype. Or even if your cellphone does not work or won't connect to wherever. Who do you think fixes that. Right again. The geek.

Everywhere we see computer technology in todays world. Everything is controlled by computers. You can't buy a packet of smokes without it being scanned by some extension of a computer. So if you see a skinny little guy with glasses on you may call him a geek if you like. It's a great compliment in my opinion. And don't be fooled, they aren't all skinny little guys. Some are close to seven foot tall. I'll get one to post his picture here if you like. In these last 6 months or so I have got to know a few of these guys. And they are wonderful people. And in todays world you will need the help of a geek more often than from the body builder down the road. So in closing this early morning blog I would just like to say " Kudos to all the geeks" you surely rule the world. I am proud to be called a geek. appy geek.

The pain in my life

And here we have the real reason for me attempting a blog. And I am not a romantic. And have never been very romantic. Don't think I have ever bought flowers for anyone other than my late mother.
Even from my windows days (so long ago) I cut down facebook time as it uses quite a bit of data. And on a slow pc it is painful going from page to page.
One nice thing about it, you get an email saying some one has left you a message or posted on your wall.
Was chatting to Ian with Pidgin when a popup window said I have a message on facebook, from a name that I did not remember. So being quite a nosy guy I decided to go and have a look.
Blast from the past. First name familiar. Surname not. This bird said we had dated for a short while in the mid eighties. Please reply. Thought about it for a day or two then replied. Today I am so happy that I did.
One or two messages there and I was asked if I remembered that I had a daughter. Really had to think about that. Something in the back of my mind bringing back some not so hot memories. Anyway I was told that this daughter of mine was very talented and I was told to go to youtube and type in tara. Did that.
Many links to all sorts of tara's.  Even women wrestlers. Back to facebook. Next message said try tara-lynn sharrok. Did that, waited the five minutes or so this setup takes to do these things and nearly fell of my stool.
Could have been looking at my sister over 35 years ago. This page was for an audition for Mary Poppins in Australia. I read what was available on the page and tried to listen to a song. 5 minutes download and two or three words, another 5 minutes download, another 2 or 3 words. But those few words had enough in them to pique my interest and a hunger for more. Wow. Now we got a problem. How to ask someone for help, and , not tell anyone till I had more info.  And not sure whether I should be ashamed or proud. What could I do? Turn to where I get all my help. The ubuntu south africa community.
Difficult to confide in someone you have never met but I didn't have a choice, so I asked one of the guys to go and look and listen and give me his opinion of my daughter I didn't know I had. And he downloaded the songs or videos for me and said we would make a plan to get a copy for me.After he had watched I asked him should I be proud or ashamed. He said proud and this is a story that must be told. And that is where this whole blog story started. Been a massive job trying to remember what is here and I am sure there is another book or two hidden in the noggin somewhere. But this is the main reason for this blog. I think it is a week and a bit since the first facebook message that started all this. One good thing has happened in this time and that is that my daughter and I communicate almost daily when she can make it under the workload she has. And her mom and I twice a day. Mornings and late evenings. Difficult chatting to someone 9 hours ahead of you. Is this the reason I was not allowed to stay dead. And the headache the punishment for what I did.
I honestly beleive the Almighty had a hand in this. I would appreciate your opinions.
Thanks for reading this blog

I would once again like to thank the ubuntu community for making this possible for me.
And to Debbie and Tara. Welcome home

Need for speed

Sorry guys and gals. I forgot to mention I also have a brother who kindly supplies me with airtime so I can get data bundles to be here. Thanks boy.

Anyway, about 4 years ago he brought me his old 486 to play with. Some say 3 years. ???
What a new experience. Red Alert on windows 95. Though it would only play in dos mode. Luckily I remembered some dos from somewhere?
I thought all pcs worked from floppy's. This one even had a stiffy drive.

That was the start of a hunger for speed. I have always been a speed freak.
Having been through a whole series of cars, starting with beetles, which got souped up till I got to the Jetta's
First the first Gli. Then a 16v Cli which was stolen at the hospital one day while going for a checkup after a cancer op. Loved that car.
So, the search was on for pc speed.

Was given all kinds of bits and pieces from a variety of people till one day 1 of sister's old patients gave me an intel p3. Boy, was that thing fast.
Managed to oveclock the 550m cpu to 733m. Then it flew. And adding ram made it even better. Wonderfull. Got 98 and Red Alert came alive. Spent many, many hours fighting the bad guys.

By now, every time sisters p3 with xp, which has a habit of "crashing" (great word) crashed. I could format it and reload everything. Learned to hate product keys.
Oh yeah. I moved to xp too. Made things work even better.

One day Ian pitched up for the weekend. Bringing his laptop with him.
It took longer to boot than my p3, so I thought "what a waste of money"
Then he took out a little eye goodie, stuck it on top and plugged the cord in the back, and a "dongle?" in another hole ( learned that all them holes are actually called ports) then put his cellphone near the window (the dongle communicates with the phone dad and shakes his head) and before too long he was chatting to some chick in Canada. Mind boggling! We had a wonderfull weekend

Now the hunger grew even more. I needed a dongle goodie and one of these wonderfull cellphones. About a month later when Ian came again he brought a packet of "old" scrap cellphones for me to play with. The best candidate being a razr v3 which had taken a bath in a bag on shampoo. Now I thank telcom for the years of training in the electronics field.
 A wonderful spray on product that cleans and protects electronic circuitry and contacts, and even fixes scratchy volume controls pots on radios. Good Stuff. And this advertising is free.

Also got Ian to empty his pockets every time he came so, we had a dongle too.
Took weeks , I think, to get this bluetooth thing working. But what do you know,
all of a sudden we had ie going.
Then there was the mail thing. Luckily, I got great neighbours, who helped a lot in this teething period. Then the exploring started.
Went great for a few months then CRASH
No probs. format and start again.
I am quite good at this now already. Another couple of months and I saw a sign?
(window?) saying upgrade xp. Great that will make it better right. Wrong.
"this is not a legal copy of windows bla bla bla.
Somewhere in this time I even joined Facebook. Good I didnt leave this out. Becomes very important later.
No prob. By this time Ians laptop had croaked and been added to my pile of pc parts with a legal copy of windows. Ha Ha Ha
By then they must have got my ip address or something like that.
Every month I was formatting. Learned all about antivirus packages and firewalls.
Even with all the antivirus protection and a good fire wall, rarely did a month go by without a problem.

Remembered Ian saying that linux was more stable so back to the neighbour.
" yes" I have a copy of 8.04 which I now know is Hardy Heron. Thanks Maaz.
Installed it and all looked good till I tried to get the bluetooth going. Neighbours again. Couple of days and I had a downloaded copy of 9.10 Jaunty Jackalope
Still battled with bluetooth. Sis got me a data cable for the motorolla and a whole new world opened up. Found there was a mailing list where you could ask for help.
I was helped to connect my printer and told what mouse to use and told I could even get help online. Now I was already used to "register" "pay $49" so was a bit weary off this online thing. Anyway I got info from the list guys on how to get onto irc and freenode and '#ubuntu-za' and and which have now become my home from homes.
And no one asked for "$49"
And I have been helped regularly (almost daily I think) with upgrade cd's and instructions on everything that troubles me. Even a whole 28g of software and all I ever heard is "You're Welcome" or "no problem" Thanks Guys.
There is even a bot lol (caught me that thing) that you can ask questions. I am sure I even tried chatting to it a few times (sure the guys were rolling on the floor laughing at this dodo.) But there is always someone who will correct you and help you out. I nearly fell off the stool laughing here when I was told about these bot goodies.
Sometimes when you need help you can wait quite a while. But I understand that all the guys have jobs to do and their own lives to lead and I am very thankful for all their help and patience leading the blind. This has really been a great experience for me.
Now we are getting to the real reason for this blog.
Next Chapter coming soon

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

My name is Miles Sharpe.
Born in Pretoria in 1951.
Schooling at Robert Hicks and then Clapham High.

Started work as an apprentice tool maker at the railway workshops in Koedoespoort. Even helped to make tires for trains. Now I can hear it "tires for trains, this guy's a nut." Find out for yourself. Cannot remember why, but left after 2 years and went to Datsun Nissan in the same field. I was too naughty, so after about 2 years they asked me to leave. Joined Telcom. Or the then dept. of Posts and Telecommunications. Helped built the telex exchange in Pretoria. Learned a lot about cabling and soldering.

After 2 years I got transfered to Durban to be near to Mom and Dad who were in Amanzimtoti. Worked in the telex workshop for about two years and asked for a transfer to their garage and spend about 2 years working on the vehicles used by telcom. In this period in Durban I joined the Warnerdoon surf life saving club and spent weekends lifesaving there and in my leave spending a month or so life saving at Amanzimtoti. During this period I met a pretty girl on a blind date and we saw each other daily and the relationship got quite serious very quickly. Of course the lifesaving was the first thing that was stopped. Too many nice girls on the beach you know.

At work I was asked if I would like to erect buildings for telephone exchanges on the south coast. So off I went and between myself and another team we built most of the prefab exchange buildings down the coast.
The relationship with my favourite blind date kept going strong and I spent many hours on my Honda 500/4 travelling to and fro.
A few years later we got married and she came and lived with me onsite in the caravan. Somehow she fell pregnant. (still trying to work out why) and we had just bought her first preggy dress when one night things started happening. Rushed from Port Edward to Port Shepstone hospital and asked a nurse for help. She says "whats the problem" I said "my wife is having a baby". She says "thats no problem" I say "ok. But she is only due in 3 months time" She says " You have got a problem!" Anyway after many hours of back rubbing and all those things. Ian was born Two months and three weeks early.

The Doc said to me " just don't think about you having a child as his chances are not good at all" They didn't know Ian. He was a fighter from day one. I remember the nurses getting his drips and goodies setup and turning him onto his back, and within five minutes the drips were out and he was back on his tummy. They had a nurse at the incubator 24/7 as his lungs had not developed yet and if he gave one little squeal he stopped breathing and the nurse had to grab him and whack his bottom to get him breathing again. It was a very tough three months to go through till we could take him home to the caravan. But one of us had to watch him constantly. Same breathing thing. Anyway, he made it, and is a big boy of thirty-something now.

After 7 years out in the caravan we bought a house in Doonside and tried to settle down and I went back to the telex workshops. Settling down didn't work. We ended up getting divorced and life as a single guy started all over.